A teacher at Pardes Jewish Day School, a school in Scottsdale, Arizona, recently resigned after she apparently tweeted out an offensive message about immigrants. The teacher, Bonnie Verne, was a third-grade teacher at Pardes Jewish Day School.
According to 12 news, the two tweets read:
“Why deport? Just kill them.”
“Or we can just put a bullet in their head immediately.”
The Arizona news site mentioned that several social media groups took screenshots of the tweets, and Verne’s account has since been deleted. After seeing these violent tweets, people emailed the Pardes Jewish Day School asking for her dismissal, and even left comments on the school’s Facebook page calling for Verne to be fired.
On Tuesday, the school sent out a statement regarding the incident:
“PJDS informed the school community that teacher Bonnie Verne resigned due to comments she recently made on her personal Twitter account.”
PJDS informed the school community that teacher Bonnie Verne resigned due to comments she recently made on her personal Twitter account.
— PJDSAZ (@PJDSAZ) February 21, 2017
Jill Kessler, the School Head, also sent out the following letter to parents, which reads:
“Dear Members of the Pardes Community,
I am writing to inform you that Mrs. Bonnie Verne has resigned her position as a third-grade teacher at our school. Bonnie deeply regrets having in recent days made comments using her personal social media account that were inappropriate, offensive, and unbefitting of a Pardes teacher. She believes, and the school concurs, that the best course of action, both for her and Pardes, is for her to resign immediately.
The leadership at our school deeply respects the rights of all citizens including those associated with the school to express their views, regardless of their political perspectives. However, with that right comes individual responsibility not to make hateful comments, which have no place in our school. To the contrary, words that demean and diminish other human beings run counter to the values this school holds dear including kavod, the respectful communication and treatment of all people.
To that end, the school maintains policies that make it clear that the personal remarks of faculty members must never, in any way, bring disrepute to the school or impinge on classroom activity. Those policies have been and will continue to be enforced diligently.
Mrs. Verne was a veteran teacher with twelve years of exemplary service and was appreciated by students and parents alike. We are certain that her political views never, in any way, found their way into her classroom.
Having identified a superb replacement teacher, we are confident that our standards of excellence will be maintained in the 3rd grade and throughout the school.
While I regret to having to bring this news to our Pardes community, I am as committed as ever to a promising future for our school.”
What a nightmare for the parents, students, and school community as a whole. And a reminder that the current climate of xenophobia and hatred doesn’t just arise from outwardly nasty people or groups; such views can fester everywhere.